Some days fishing is a lot like hunting. Friday was one of those days. The previous week’s storm seemed to have changed the water quite a bit and as result we had no clue where the kings might be. So my friend Gery from Hunter’s Haven Taxidermy and I went on a hunt
The menhaden have been slim up this ways so far so we skipped even looking for them and headed right out to the first set of box cars (AR362). The buoy is missing by the way, in fact we saw it latter in the day about 3 miles closer to shore than it should have been. We used our sibiki rigs and caught some very nice greenies and cigar minnows for bait. Then the hunt began.
We tried all the usually places in the 8-15 miles range first heading east of the box cars then north. We finally caught one king but also caught a few sharks. Not seeing much bait we moved on. Then we headed south. Hooked up and lost a huge AJ. Finally called it a day about 1pm and headed home. It was a pretty day but slow fishing for us. Talked to a friend who we had seen at the box cars. They headed north and had much better luck, they caught several kings, 2 mahi and a cobia! You just never know.
...............I caught a slew of Spanish Mackerel! About a dozen that is. What’s unusual about it is that I was fishing in a marsh creek off the ICW near Scotts Hill! I think this school of Spanish took a wrong turn at the inlet and got LOST!
I couldn’t believe my eyes. they were busting bait all over. Guess the full moon affects fish too….
After the Spanish frenzy I did manage to get on a nice school of reds in the 22 - 26 inch class, caught 3 of those.
Sorry I forgot my camera today so all I have is a picture of the Spanish I invited home for dinner.
As much as I enjoy fishing the Topsail area, occasionally I like to try other areas. This past week-end I had the opportunity to visit Oriental, NC and fish the Neuse River.
While it is very nice up there, the fishing is quite different. No tides, no sand shoals and no oyster bars. Other than a few obvious spots (bridges and some rickrack) I wasn’t sure where to fish. I did manage a few small puppy drum and I’m sure if I put the time in I’d learn the spots. But like they say, there’s no place like home! I’m glad to be back fishing the familiar waters of Topsail!
Anglers have been hooking up Blue Marlin and a few White Marlins this past week with plenty of sailfish also being caught. One captain told me it was the best bite of the season so far and that he expected it would continue on into next week. So if you are looking for a billfish, this might be the week. You’ll have to travel to the 100 fathom line to fine the Marlins but if you want to save some gas, sailfish are being caught in as close as 5 miles.
The grouper bite has been good in the 20 – 40 mile range with gags, scamps and red grouper being caught. I’ve seen some nice reports of Wahoo in that range as well as some mahi. Closer in the kings and some mahi continue to chew. The king bite is moving closer and closer to the beach as the bait along the shoreline increases. A few citation kings were caught last week in the 12 miles range with the closer areas producing smaller fish.
Near the inlets the Spanish bite continues to be there one day and gone the next. However if you want a shot at a citation size Spanish (6 pounds and up) try live bait around Diver’s Rock and other structure a few miles from New River Inlet. A few have been caught there this past week.
Vinita at Surf City Pier reports a mixed bag of fish. While the bite has been slow some spots and mullets have been caught and an occasionally black drum or sheepshead has made it over the rail. Jolly Roger and Sea View pier report similar action.
The sounds and waterway are producing some nice flounder and drum. Live bait is working best on the flounder right now with small menhaden and finger mullet being the best choices. The drum are hitting topwater lures as well as natural baits. The speckled trout bite on live shrimp in the New River area has been strong.
Summertime fishing is often a hurry and wait game but there fish are there so be patient and be willing to go on the hunt
Tight lines to all!
Gery of Hunter’s Haven Taxidermy and I headed out this morning about 7 on the hunt for some kings & Mahi. We headed first for the first set of boxcars to jig up some bait. We found bait there but it wasn’t very big and it took over an hour to get enough to fish for the day.
We tried several spots in the morning, stopping where we saw bait balls figuring kings would be nearby. we even saw a couple of kings sky but couldn’t get any takers. We talked to another boat that had caught 5 kings on cigar minnows. All we had so far was about 8 sharks. So finally we ditched the live bait rigs put on the hank brown rigs and some dead cigar minnows I had brought along.
Bingo! King on! We boated a few, lost a few then hooked up with a 10 pound mahi! Sweet! The boat fishing next to us hooked up and released a very nice sailfish!
We were about 12 miles offshore when we caught the kings and mahi. Oh yeah we caught one small barracuda along with all them sharks - all the sharks came on the downrigger - no kings on it so we finally stowed the downrigger and stuck to surface baits.
It was a beautiful day on the water and I always enjoy fishing with Gery!
Summertime, Summertime, it’s summertime fishing!
The weather is hot, the fish are here. But typical of summertime fishing, they are scattered and the bite is on and off. This is where patience and perseverance pay off. Did I mention a little bit of luck? That would come in handy too.
The piers are reporting a mixed bag of fish. Anglers are catching everything from flounder, croakers, mullet and pompano to blues, a few Spanish, and an occasional king mackerel. Morning and nights seem to be the best producing times.
Inshore quite a few flounder are being caught with some nice ones over three pounds being taken on finger mullet and small menhaden. They are still around the inlets but many have moved into the creeks and around the docks now that the finger mullet are plentiful in those areas. A few speckled trout are being taken on live shrimp, look in the deeper holes where the water is a little cooler near the bottom. The red drum are schooled up and can often be found near the grassy marsh areas especially if there is an oyster bar nearby.
The Ladyfish have started to show up. Try the turning bridge at night for best results. A few black drum are also being taken in that area as well as near the Hwy 172 bridge and the mouth of topsail channel. The surf and shoals at the north end of Lea Island are holding big schools of red drum. Live bait as well as cut bait is working well. A few pompano and mullet are also being caught in the surf.
Small kings are being caught near shore with an occasionally teenager in the mix. Larger kings are being taken around the AR366, & AR 368 as well as around the River Bed, Emory ledge and similar areas in the 12 – 18 mile range. They are biting dead cigars and spoons but for the bigger ones, live bait is working best. Try using a sibiki rig at AR 362 for some nice greenies and cigar minnows. On the north end of the Island, AR355, Gill’s hole and the “F” buoy are producing some nice kings.
Some nice mahi are being caught in the 15 mile and out range with an occasional smaller one in closer. Try a ballyhoo rigged on a Blue Water Candy mini-jag in green/chart/pink or straight pink. Some nice gag grouper are being caught in 80 – 100 feet of water with plenty of red grouper being reported in 100 – 150 feet of water. The wahoo have been scattered with purple/black and red/black lures trolled on a planer producing the best. A few sailfish are being caught with one or two being reported inside of 15 miles already.
Tight lines and wishing you a HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!